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Mana in Mahi isn’t your average work-for-the-dole scheme

By Kieran Madden


Translated to “strength in work,” Labour’s Mana in Māhī scheme shows real potential to make a difference in the lives…

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Generational perspective necessary to do policy well

By Kieran Madden


Our view of human nature makes a big difference on which policies we devise and support. “If men were angels,…

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The trust trade-off

By Kieran Madden


The Government is going all in on its Social Investment strategy for fixing social ills, but the big data it…

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Poverty in New Zealand | The Heart of Poverty

By Kieran Madden


Research Series Every society tells a story about the good life, getting a fair go, or what it takes to live…

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Welfare to work?

By Kieran Madden


Just where do people go when they move off a benefit? It’s a serious question that demands an answer. Why?…

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Seeing the person, not the problem

Seeing the person, not the problem

By Danielle van Dalen


Politics and policies can change lives. However, policy is just an idea until people do something to enact it. For…

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The making of resilient families

The making of resilient families

By Keiran Madden


While most of the stories behind families in poverty are tinged with despair, many are gilded with hope. Because poverty…

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What makes you poor?

What makes you poor?

By Kieran Madden


What does poverty look like in New Zealand? Who is poor? How did they get there? What’s keeping them there?…

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Poverty Paper

The Heart of Poverty Series #1: Matching passion with precision for struggling New Zealanders

By Kieran Madden


We still have a persistent poverty problem in New Zealand today, and not for a lack of debate, dollars, or…

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Of corpses and communities

Of corpses and communities

By Jeremy Vargo


A couple of weeks ago, some friends in Auckland held a fundraiser. They put on an afternoon outdoor party, with…

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When the government is your breadwinner

When the government is your breadwinner


Most families make decisions every day about how their household will run. Some decide to have a parent stay home…

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Blunt tools

Blunt tools


Social Justice Minister Paula Bennett announced a raft of proposed legislation this week aimed at protecting children from abuse. The…

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The hope of welfare reforms

The hope of welfare reforms


Several years ago, when my cousins were little, the day care centre where my aunt worked cut its staff size…

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Poverty myth-busting

Poverty myth-busting


The way the Western world views poverty, the poor, and welfare is changing. New studies show that successive generations are…

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Beneficiary bashing

Beneficiary bashing


Relying on a benefit is very few people’s idea of a good time. Funds are tight, and much of the…

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Entitlement reform

Entitlement reform


The British think tank Reform has examined the prospects of the contemporary welfare state in a new report published last…

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Welfare stats paint an interesting picture

Welfare stats paint an interesting picture

By Keiran Madden


The Ministry of Social Development has just released its annual Statistical Report from 2011.  One particular table that caught my…

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Māori and Pacifika welfare statistics

Māori and Pacifika welfare statistics


Māori and Pasifika are often lumped together in statistics and reports; however an interesting blog post by Lindsay Mitchell questions…

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UK may cut housing benefit

UK may cut housing benefit


UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s proposal of stopping payments to those young enough to live with their parents has caused…

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Shedding light on teen pregnancy

Shedding light on teen pregnancy


The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) released an interesting study in March that may have some bearing on how…

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